Financial literacy month series: How you can bring financial literacy’s sexy back

Just Google and search for “financial literacy”. Pages and pages of links will populate your screen. There are hundreds of government resources, banks, non-profits, etc.

Just Google and search for “financial literacy”. Pages and pages of links will populate your screen. There are hundreds of government resources, banks, non-profits, etc. The list goes on and on. Some are unbiased sources; but many others are hoping to sell you financial products like mutual funds and services.

So as a consumer, where do you start?

Honestly, like all things, it starts with you, no passing the buck (pun intended) on this one. The key thing to know is what kind of learner are you? Financial education is like anything else you would learn in school. It is something you study and, hopefully (unlike grade 12 Calculus for me), you retain the knowledge and apply it in the real world.

All the organizations found in your search have a different approach, which one is right? Well, any or all of them could be right for you, but finding the right mix is important. There are articles, videos, books, workshops, games, etc. Which of them will get you excited about financial literacy? The sooner you find it, the sooner you could be living debt free. Isn’t that the goal for most people? To do the things you want to do without the restriction of not enough cash?

Here’s a plug for CPA Canada – as you are on our blog. Our website is great, it has something for everyone but our main program is our Community Connect Program – a national volunteer program that gets our Chartered Professional Accountants into the local communities, schools, welcome centres and businesses to teach financial education. For more information or to sign up your local group for a session, email us

All right, homework time! I did say it was like studying…

  1. Speak to your family and friends – I know finances is a sensitive subject but see how others are doing it or perhaps they have a professional they can refer you to, heck, your best friend might have just switched careers and is a personal planner (that happened to me).
  2. Check with your bank – you’ve probably been banking with the same institution since your first bank account (that’s why banks are so keen to get you while you’re young, we are creatures of habit) but be wary when you use them as personal planners, they might be free but that just means the costs are hidden, so ask how they are paid.
  3. Get more than one opinion. We spend a lot of time finding the right doctor; the same should go for your financial health. Oh, and ask questions … about everything.

Maybe the reason financial literacy hasn’t been categorized as “sexy” is because we haven’t developed a catchy tagline for it. I’m thinking, “It’s cool to have cash." Maybe not. I’ll keep working on it.

Highlights

Jointly presented by CPA Canada and CPA Ontario, The ONE is the must-attend, multi-track event of the year, designed for all CPAs who want to be at the top of their game.

Our Firm Directory allows you to search for Canadian CPA firms using our interactive map as well as other criteria.

You’re in the eye of the storm amid a swirl of slips, forms and receipts. Chart your way through tax-time turbulence with these updates and resources.